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Dealers often have questions about SEM campaigns they are running. Rightfully so, as SEM doesn't come cheaply, and unlike a newspaper ad or mailer, paid search isn't tangible. Often times, the term "quality score" is thrown around to describe why a cost-per-click might be high or low. It all comes down to relevance.
The standard components that seem to make up the bidding system used by SEM utilities like Google AdWords are comprised of things like landing page content relevance, expected click-thru rate, historical click-thru rate, ad content relevance, bid, and competitor bids. While all these are fine technical terms that marketers understand, to the average business owner these might just be buzzwords that don't explain why PPC advertising costs what it does.
In order to put SEM relevance into perspective - it all comes down to relevancy addiction. These days, people know what they want and they just need to know where to get it. Thus, most people are impatient with getting answers or results, which Google is very aware of. Google understands that if it provides the most relevant results to demanding consumers, it leads to the best user experience, driving consumers back over and over and over again. That's why if people have a question today, they Google it!
Therefore, when a user is searching on Google, Google is trying to show the best and most relevant results, even in it's advertising network. The pricing of SEM is therefore less when the keywords, ads and landing pages used in an ad group are all tied together in such a way that they provide an extremely useful and relevant result for a searcher. If someone searching has a good experience with a site found via clicking on an SEM ad, Google rewards that with lower overall pricing and more prominence in search results.
If a dealer is struggling with high cost-per-click, low click-thru rates and poor conversion, often times the landing pages and ads need to be looked at to raise this relevance. How are you all designing your campaigns for optimal relevance?